Member: Nevis Ensemble

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Nevis Ensemble is different, and there’s nothing else quite like us in Scotland. Our vision is simply that of ‘music for everyone, everywhere’.

Artistically-led by Holly Mathieson and Jonathan Hargreaves, the orchestra has given almost 200 performances to around 28,500 people all across Scotland, from the schools, supermarkets and museums of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, to a farm in the Scottish Borders and the summit of Ben Nevis in the Highlands – and everywhere in between, including the biggest ever tour by an orchestra of the Outer Hebrides – all the way out to the remote archipelago of St Kilda. Concerts have taken place in venues as diverse as swimming pools and children’s parks, to homeless centres, museums and train stations.

Removing barriers to accessing orchestral music means bringing it to where people are, and when they are there. Just think; 40 energetic musicians run out of a bus, instruments in hand, and less than five minutes later the intrigued crowd hears something incredible and unexpected. Everyone leaves feeling uplifted and inspired, proud of the place to which they belong. Full-scale, orchestral performances with music of all genres: popping up and surprising commuters first thing in the morning; entertaining residents in oft-forgotten parts of the city; guerrilla-style appearances in swimming pools; generating large audiences in public spaces. Our approach to performing has seen us win at the Scottish Awards for New Music in 2019 and 2020, and shortlisted for the Classical:NEXT Innovation Award.

Running in parallel to a fast-and-furious performance schedule, are a number of community-based projects. Partnerships with voluntary and third-sector organisations are nurtured to ensure the most vulnerable and marginalised in our society have equitable access to the arts to share their stories and experiences. Our musicians can take advantage of a training programme to hone their specialist skills in working with the very young, the very old, and those who face challenges in their lives, knowing that access to great live music provides a huge wealth of benefits, particularly to health and wellbeing, social cohesion, and the simple but powerful feeling of joy.
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